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To: pie-faced-mutt who wrote (3951)5/12/2005 5:43:08 AM
   of 3959
"What is the Third Estate? -- Everything."
"What has it been hitherto in the political order? -- Nothing."
"What does it desire? -- To be something."

Abbé Sieyès, January 1789.

"What is the Third World? -- Everything."
"What has it been hitherto in the geopolitical order? -- Nothing."
"What does it desire? -- To be something."

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, May 2005, Brasilia.

From Baghdad to Brasilia
By Pepe Escobar

There could hardly be a more graphic instance of an emerging new world order than Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and the premiers of both Syria and Lebanon all flying for a get-together in Brasilia in Brazil, designed from scratch in the 1950s by modernist icon Oscar Niemeyer as the futuristic capital of the new world.

They were among the heads of state and ministers from 33 South American and Arab League states gathered in the Brazilian capital for the first-ever Arab-South American summit. Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim has described the summit as an "alliance of civilizations" - a reference to 150 years of Syrian-Lebanese immigration to South America. More than 10 million people of Arab descent live in South America, most of them in Brazil, which holds the largest Arab diaspora in the world.

The "Declaration of Brasilia" to be endorsed this Wednesday calls for close political and economic ties between South America and the Arab world; demands that Israel disband its settlements in the West Bank, including "those in East Jerusalem", and retreat to its borders before 1967; criticizes US "unilateral economic sanctions against Syria", which violates principles of international law; and forcefully condemns terrorism. Israel is also implicitly criticized for holding an undeclared nuclear arsenal. The declaration also calls for a global conference to define the meaning of terrorism, and defends peoples' rights to "resist foreign occupation in accordance with the principle of international legality and in compliance with international humanitarian law".

It's unlikely that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will lose any sleep over what happened in Brasilia - despite all the inevitable hardline Israeli-American rumblings. Arab League secretary general Amr Moussa said, "It's their [Israel's] problem if they are concerned. If they don't want to be concerned anymore, they should change their policy in the occupied territories."

Washington was so concerned about the summit turning into a forum against President George W Bush's Greater Middle East and against Israel that it pressured the pliable, dependent leaders of Egypt, Jordan and Morocco not to attend. As much as Brazil counts on Arab support in its pledge for a permanent United Nations Security Council seat, the Arab League counts on South America to support an Egyptian bid.

South America is avidly cultivating much stronger ties with China, Russia and the Arab world - and there's little Washington can do about it. The US officially requested to be an observer at the summit. The Brazilians politely declined: "It's a public meeting, you can watch it on TV."

Not surprisingly, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Abbas were welcomed in Brasilia as heroes. Brazilian President Luis Ignacio "Lula" da Silva diplomatically praised the Palestinians for their "patience" during the Middle East peace process. Al-Jazeera went live with the opening remarks by the co-hosts, Lula and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, also the current president of the Arab League. Lula insisted once again that "poor countries [must] receive the benefits of globalization". The Algerians are excitedly talking about "a coalition on cultural, political and economic terms". Al-Sharq al-Awsat, a leading Arab paper, stressed how the summit could influence the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The London Arabic-language daily al-Hayat published a half-page photo of Talabani arriving in Brasilia.

South-South cooperation

The key point of all this is economic. Bilateral trade between South America and the Arab world stands only at US$10 billion a year, but growth possibilities are endless. The main success of the summit is the PetroSul agreement, which creates a continental oil major composed by Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela.

Arabs are delighted to find good products and competitive prices in South America and a business climate much more relaxed than in Europe, and especially post-September 11 US. For instance, Brazil will export even more sugar, beef and chicken to the Middle East. According to the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, exports may double within five years.

According to Georgetown University's Tarik Youssef, "From the Arabs' perspective, Latin America is probably the best case to benchmark the pace of progress in the Arab world," meaning in both the political and economic spheres. Arabs may learn one or two practical things in South America in terms of privatization and fiscal and political reforms. Brazil is forcefully engaged in a campaign for the elimination of rich countries' agricultural subsidies - a popular theme also in the Arab world. The summit is the first step toward a future free trade agreement between the Mercosur and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

No wonder Washington hawks are uneasy. There's an emerging geopolitical axis on the map - Arab-South American. It's non-aligned. And it's swimming in oil. Between them, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Egypt, Qatar, Libya, Oman, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, Ecuador, Argentina and Brazil pump about 27.2 million barrels of oil a day, about 32.5% of global production.

One of the key reasons for Talabani's presence at the summit is that Brazil will inevitably be back to oil-field development in Iraq. Brazil had very close commercial relations - in the oil service industry and in the military sector - with Iraq during Saddam Hussein's time. Brazilian technical expertise helped in the discovery of some of the largest Iraqi oilfields. Both Venezuela and Brazil hope to win plenty of service contracts in the Arab world. Venezuela, instead of just supplying about 13% of the daily US oil consumption, is avidly diversifying - striking new deals with Spain and China. The last thing Hugo Chavez wants is to be dependent on the US market.

The writing on the (global) wall is now inevitable: region-to-region economic deals, more exports, and increased distancing from the weak dollar. In this renewed South-South cooperation, trade and commerce prevail over invasion and regime change; respect to UN resolutions regarding military occupations prevail over alienated terrorism rhetoric. There's an alternative global agenda in town.

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To: GUSTAVE JAEGER who wrote (3338)6/3/2005 4:39:27 AM
From: Maurice Winn
   of 3959
<That's why Judeo-Protestant fanatics didn't flinch from blowing up a tropical resort in Bali, killing about 200 Australian tourists, just to get Australia to fall into line... >

You obviously missed a LOT of the information, not to mention the trial of the guilty.


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To: pie-faced-mutt who wrote (3951)6/22/2005 5:33:17 AM
   of 3959
At least the Japanese see through the US's cunning trick to foil Japan's bid to the UNSC:

US steps on Japan's toes
By J Sean Curtin

- As the battle over United Nations reform intensifies, Japan's carefully crafted strategy for gaining a permanent UN Security Council (UNSC) seat has been thrown into disarray by new US proposals, making Tokyo suspicious of Washington's motives. Late last week, the George W Bush administration announced its vision for UNSC reform, which included a new permanent seat for Japan and another for an unspecified country.

The problem with this seemingly Tokyo-friendly proposal is that it may harm Japan's chances and directly conflicts with the country's own policy of obtaining a seat through mutual cooperation with Germany, India and Brazil in the so-called Group of Four (G-4)of other contenders.

Tokyo believes the G-4 offers it the only viable way to overcome increasingly strong Chinese opposition to its candidacy and sees little hope of US proposals actually being implemented. It calculates that only the combined efforts of the G-4 have any chance of gaining the support of more than 128 UN member states, the two-thirds of the organization necessary for a resolution to be adopted.

Ring a bell? The US administration used the same hypocrisy to wreck Turkey's EU bid:
Message 20285775

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To: GUSTAVE JAEGER who wrote (3954)6/23/2005 12:09:44 PM
From: pie-faced-mutt
   of 3959
Thanks for the "heads-up" on this, Gus...I was not aware of what was going on there.


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To: pie-faced-mutt who wrote (3955)6/28/2005 5:16:27 AM
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Arabs will only begin to have faith in the US and the Bush White House when peace is brought to the Palestinians, security is maintained in Iraq, and American statesmen and women show more interest in real Arab domestic issues and democracy. To date, apart from promises to the masses, the US has not pressured Arab regimes for democracy. The Americans have also failed to portray themselves as honest brokers in the Arab-Israeli conflict, which is the cornerstone of grievances to the Arab majority. The real problem that the Americans fail to understand is not Arafat, nor terrorism, nor Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, but land and freedom for the Palestinians. Once that is secured, a majority of Arabs will start to trust America.

The road to peace in the Middle East runs through Jerusalem, not Baghdad. Mixed feelings exist in the Arab world toward Iraq. Some are in favor of the post-Saddam order and American schemes, while others are overwhelmingly opposed. On the issue of Palestine, there is more of a consensus among the 200 million Arabs. Since September 2000, more than 5,000 homes have been destroyed in the Palestinian territories, while about 35,000 people have been left homeless in Gaza alone. Since his election in March 2001, Israeli premier Ariel Sharon personally saw to it that settlements in Gaza increased by 51%. The Occupied Territories currently suffer from 30-40% unemployment, and in Gaza alone it is over 50%. When the intifada broke out in 2000, the poverty rate was 21%, and by December 2002 it had increased to 60%.

In Gaza, poverty today is estimated at 80%. Due to terrible conditions, food consumption in the Occupied Territories has dropped by 25%, and half of the population currently lives off United Nations aid. Malnutrition among infants is 22%, the highest in the region, matched only in the Sahara Desert.

The Israeli Defense Army has generated losses in Palestinian infrastructure estimated at US$1.7 billion in 2002 alone. And that number is likely to increase, given the US alliance with Israel and its generous donation of arms and money. When former secretary of state Collin Powell announced his plan for "democracy in the Middle East" in late 2003, he promised $29 million to promote a democratic culture to the Arabs. Whereas at the start of 2004, the White House gave Israel $300 million in donations to "help combat terrorism".

Excerpted from:

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To: GUSTAVE JAEGER who wrote (3956)6/28/2005 12:26:58 PM
From: pie-faced-mutt
   of 3959
I like what this chap had to say in the latest issue of the Economist:

Islam and democracy

"SIR – You seem surprised by the failure of militant Islam in South-East Asia (“Turning back the tide”, June 4th). The word “tide” itself suggests an inevitable movement that was quelled in the nick of time by liberal democracy. This is not so. If militant Islam doesn't appear to pose an immediate threat now it is because the threat was largely illusory. In the last 20 years, only Sudan and Afghanistan have had radical Islamic governments, with large swathes of their populations opposing such government (incidentally, in both cases the Islamists were funded and supported by the United States as anti-communist forces prior to taking office). You also suggest that America's recent actions have helped stem this tide with a new secular and democratic order. I fail to see how. Secularism is not going to be made popular in the Muslim world by continuing support for dictatorships such as Pervez Musharraf's Pakistan or Islam Karimov's Uzbekistan. Moreover, the implication that a positive, anti-Islamist order has been established partly by the toppling of Saddam Hussein is absurd. How have Islamists been hurt by the replacement of a stable secular regime with an impoverished, unstable, insecure democratic regime dominated by a non-secular Islamist party, with ties to Iran, and whose parliamentary politics are reminiscent of Weimar Germany?"

Craig Willy
Roquefort-les-Pins, France

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To: pie-faced-mutt who wrote (3935)4/21/2008 10:57:02 AM
   of 3959
Amid grain shortages, resistance relaxes to modified wheat
By Andrew Pollack

Monday, April 21, 2008

Soaring food prices and global grain shortages are bringing new pressures on governments, food companies and consumers to relax their longstanding resistance to genetically engineered crops.

In Japan and South Korea, some manufacturers for the first time have begun buying genetically engineered corn for use in soft drinks, snacks and other foods. Until now, to avoid consumer backlash, the companies have paid extra to buy conventionally grown corn. But with prices having tripled in two years, it has become too expensive to be so finicky.

"We cannot afford it," said a corn buyer at Kato Kagaku, a Japanese maker of corn starch and corn syrup.

In the United States, wheat growers and marketers, once hesitant about adopting biotechnology because they feared losing export sales, are now warming to it as a way to bolster supplies. Genetically modified crops contain genes from other organisms to make the plants resistance to insects, herbicides or disease. Opponents continue to worry that such crops have not been studied enough and that they might pose risks to health and the environment.

"I think it's pretty clear that price and supply concerns have people thinking a little bit differently today," said Steve Mercer, a spokesman for U.S. Wheat Associates, a government supported cooperative that promotes American wheat abroad.

The group, which once cautioned farmers about growing biotech wheat, is working to get seed companies to restart development of genetically modified wheat and to get non-U.S. buyers to accept it.

Even in Europe, where opposition to what the Europeans call Frankenfoods has been fiercest, some prominent government officials and business executives are calling for faster approvals of imports of genetically modified crops. They are responding in part to complaints from livestock producers, who say they might suffer a critical shortage of feed if imports do not accelerate.

In Britain, the National Beef Association, which represents cattle farmers, issued a statement this month demanding that "all resistance" to such crops "be abandoned immediately in response to shifts in world demand for food, the growing danger of global food shortages and the prospect of declining domestic animal production."

The chairman of the agriculture committee in the European Parliament, Neil Parish, said that as prices rise, Europeans "may be more realistic" about the issue of genetically modified crops.

"Their hearts may be on the left, but their pockets are on the right," he said.

With food riots in some countries focusing attention on how the world will feed itself, biotechnology proponents see their chance. They argue that while genetic engineering might have been deemed unnecessary when food was abundant, it will be essential for helping the world cope with the demand for food and biofuels in the decades ahead.

Through gene splicing, the modified crops now grown - mainly corn, soybeans, canola and cotton - typically contain bacterial genes that help the plants resist insects or tolerate a herbicide that can be sprayed to kill weeds while leaving the crop unscathed. Biotechnology companies are also working on crops that might need less water or fertilizer, which could have a bigger impact on improving yield.

Certainly any new receptivity to genetically modified crops would be a boon to American exporters. The United States accounted for half the world's acreage of biotech crops last year.

But substantial amounts of corn, soy or canola are grown in Argentina, Brazil and Canada. China has developed insect-resistant rice that is awaiting regulatory approval from Beijing.

The pressure to re-evaluate biotech comes as prices of some staples like rice and wheat have doubled in the last few months, provoking violent protests in several countries including Cameroon, Egypt, Haiti and Thailand. Factors behind the price spikes include the diversion of crops to make biofuel, rising energy prices, growing prosperity in India and China, and droughts in some regions - including Australia, a major grain producer.

Biotechnology still certainly faces obstacles. Polls in Europe do not yet show a decisive shift in consumer sentiment, and the industry has had some recent setbacks. Since the beginning of the year, France has banned the planting of genetically modified corn while Germany has enacted a law allowing for food to be labeled "GM free."

A new international assessment of the future of agriculture, released last week, gave such tepid support to the role genetic engineering could play in easing hunger that biotechnology industry representatives withdrew from the project in protest. The report was a collaboration of more than 60 governments, with participation from companies and nonprofit groups, under the auspices of the World Bank and the United Nations.

Hans Herren, the co-chairman of the project, said that providing more fertilizer to Africa would improve output much more than genetic engineering could. "What farmers really are struggling with are water issues, soil fertility issues and market access for their products," he said.

Opponents of biotechnology say that they see not so much an opportunity as opportunism by its proponents to exploit the food crisis. "Where politicians and technocrats have always wanted to push GMOs, they are jumping on this bandwagon and using this as an excuse," said Helen Holder, who coordinates the campaign against biotech foods for Friends of the Earth Europe. GMO refers to genetically modified organism.

Even Michael Mack, the chief executive of the Swiss company Syngenta, an agricultural chemical and biotechnology giant, cautioned that the industry should not use the current crisis to push its agenda.

Whatever importance biotechnology can play in the long run, food shortages are making it harder for some food buyers to avoid engineered crops.

The main reason some Japanese and South Korean makers of corn starch and corn sweeteners are buying biotech corn is that they have dwindling alternatives. Their main supplier is the United States, where 75 percent of corn grown last year was genetically modified, up from 40 percent in 2003.

"We cannot get hold of non-GM corn nowadays," said Yoon Chang-gyu, director of the Korean Corn Processing Industry Association.

But the tightening global supply has made it harder to get nonengineered corn from elsewhere. And as corn prices soar, millers and food companies are less able to pay the surcharge to keep nonengineered corn separate from biotech varieties. The surcharge itself has been rising.

Yoon said nonengineered corn cost Korean millers about $450 a ton, up from $143 in 2006. Genetically engineered corn costs about $350 a ton.

In Europe, livestock producers say that regulations on genetically modified crops could choke feed supplies at a time when they are already reeling from higher prices. Even after a new genetically engineered variety is approved for growing in the United States, it might take several years for Europe to approve it for import.

Moreover, European rules require a whole shipment of grain to be turned back if it contains even a trace of an unapproved variety. Such a problem last year disrupted exports of corn gluten, a feed product, from the United States to Europe.

Feed makers and livestock producers want faster approvals and a relaxation of the rules to allow for trace amounts of unapproved varieties in shipments.

Even in the United States, where genetically engineered food has been generally accepted, the wheat industry has had to rethink its reluctance to accept biotech varieties.

Because about half of the U.S. wheat crop is exported, farmers and processors feared that foreign buyers would reject their products. Facing resistance from farmers, Monsanto in 2004 suspended development of what would have been the first genetically modified wheat.

But some farmers and millers now say that the lack of genetically engineered wheat has made growing the grain less attractive than growing corn or soybeans. That has, in turn, contributed to shrinking supplies and rising prices for wheat.

Milling & Baking News, an influential trade newspaper in Kansas City, Missouri, said in an editorial that companies using wheat were now paying the price for their own "hesitancy, if not outright opposition" to biotechnology.

Su-hyun Lee in Seoul and Yasuko Kamiizumi in Tokyo contributed reporting.

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To: GUSTAVE JAEGER who wrote (2705)6/30/2017 2:15:54 PM
From: Deanerenata32
   of 3959
Where do you think you would spend eternity, if God forbid, you were to die later today?

I am not sending this to you to preach religion. I am asking you if you were standing before a Holy God do you think that He would have an issue with your sin if you were standing in front of a Holy God?

Because that is exactly what the Bible tells us. That a Holy God can not be in the presence of sin. So every human being that has ever lived has had the exact same problem. This sin problem. But do you also know that Jesus Christ offers all of us a free gift, the forgiveness of sin. And faith and belief is all God wants from you. So, do you believe that Jesus was the Son of God who came to earth and lived a perfect life? Do you know that God will accept Christ's perfect life and let Christ be your Advocate, so on Judgement Day God doesn't look at all the bad stuff you've done. Instead, God will look at His perfect Son when He see's you. Because Jesus and His perfection literally stand in our place.

Something like that. I would try to lay it out in the most simple terms so they know what the problem is and what the solution is and how it works.

Then in the last sentence just write a quick sentence like "there really is little difference between you and I, I am a sinner too. But I have accepted Christ's free gift of salvation and I know that I will be with God in eternity. I sincerely hope that this has helped you and I do apologize for being so forward, but I have to share this with you because I'm sure neither of us gets free gifts often. At this point, I would recommend for you a good Bible-based church that can answer any questions you have and will surround you with like-minded believers. Just Google bible church in your local area. God bless you!"

Rom 3:23 :
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Now that you know that no one is good in God's eyes, how do we then become good? How do we become vindicated before God? The Bible teaches that we need to have Jesus' righteousness but the only way to do that is to come to Him by faith:

Rom 10:9
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Rom 10:10
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Jesus commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins, to ask for His forgiveness, and to turn from their sins and to put their faith and trust in Him. Repenting means that you are sincerely sorry for all the bad things you have done in life and you want Jesus to change you into his holiness and righteousness.

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